New York State Senate

Scott Willis/WAER News

New York Senate Candidate Rachel May says the disbanding of the Independent Democratic Conference might open the door for progressive change in the state.  The IDC was a small faction within the Democratic Party that typically caucused and voted with Republicans.  May is challenging incumbent David Valesky, a now-former IDC member, for the 53rd district seat.  She says she hopes to help change the attitude in the State Senate.

Karen Dewitt

The legislature finally ended its 2017 legislative session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill, and the Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle.

Both Democrats and Republicans condemned an end of session that included the governor calling an extraordinary session of the legislature to deal with expiring laws, private meetings between Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders, and rank and file lawmakers kept in the dark about the details.

nysenate.gov

If the numbers hold, Republicans are poised to remain in control of the State Senate, and even pick up a seat when the senate reconvenes in January.  The news has reassured business groups but dismayed reform advocates.

The numerical majority  means many of the same issues that were gridlocked in the legislature in the past are likely to remain so, including , the Dream Act, which would provide college aid to children of undocumented immigrants, abortion rights measures, and ending the incarceration of 16 and 17 year olds in adult prisons.